This weekend could be the biggest of the season for Seattle

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  • Seattle's path to the #2 seed is pretty simple: they need to win out, and they need the 49ers, Packers, and Giants to all lose one non-Seahawks game in the final 3. Consider then:

    #1: Seattle plays Buffalo on the road. With all due respect to SF, Buffalo is Seattle's best chance for a loss in the final 3 games. If Seattle wins this game, I feel really good about finishing 11-5.

    #2: San Francisco plays at New England. New England is the #1 team in the NFL in DVOA and just smoked the previously 11-1 Houston Texans. This is by far the hardest non-Seahawks game remaining on the schedule. It's almost inconcievable that SF would beat New England on the road but lose to Arizona at home in the final week. This game will pretty much decide the division and therefore Seattle's chance at a bye before the Seahawks even get their second shot at the 49ers.

    #3: Green Bay plays at Chicago. If the Packers win this game, we might not catch them. Their week 16 game is at home against a bad Titans team, and their final game is on the road at Minnesota. I think Minnesota could maybe pull it off, but this weekend represents Seattle's best hope for Green Bay dropping a game and allowing the Golden Gate play to determine a tiebreaker.

    #4: New York plays at Atlanta. The Giants are a very good road team and Atlanta is a paper tiger. That said they are an 11-2 paper tiger, and this might be the best chance for the Giants to drop a game we need them to lose. If the Giants and Seahawks both win out, the Giants will own the tiebreaker thanks to conference record. If the Giants beat Atlanta then there is still hope because they'll visit Baltimore the next week, and Baltimore is about as tough at home as Seattle is. Still, it would be nice if Atlanta took care of business for us.

    Feeling greedy and lucky? If Atlanta loses out and Seattle wins out Seattle would own the tiebreaker. If you have confidence in Baltimore and think Atlanta is capable of losing at the Lions and at home to the Bucs, then you might want to pull for the Giants in this game and hope for Baltimore to beat them next week.
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    kearly
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  • This is a must win this weekend and our biggest game of the season so far. If the Hawks dump this game or show up lethargic like the did against the Dolphins, Lions, etc. then none of those scenarios matter. We need this win to set up the big Sunday night game with the Whiners.
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  • Mr. Random Thought for President!

    I was thinking about the varying scenarios and I see Kearly has already laid it out for us.

    Thanks for the post and information!
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  • Plan B If we don't get #1 or #2 seed is to get the #4 seed instead of #3 because I do not want to face Green Bay @ GB. I would much rather play at Atlanta, New York, or San Fran.

    So to get #4 seed

    ATL lose to NYG go 2-1 (13-3) =#1 seed
    GB win out (12-4)=#2 seed
    NYG win out (11-5)=#3 seed
    SF loss to NE and Seattle win out (11-5) = #4 seed
    SF loss to NE and SEA (10-5-1)= #5 seed
    Chi loss to GB (10-6)=#6 seed

    WC weekend
    CHI @ NYG
    SF @ SEA

    Divisional
    NYG @ GB
    SEA @ ATL

    NFC Championship
    SEA @ NYG
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  • The way we have played in December and beyond in GB makes me not want to go there, and we are stinkoriffic in SF in recent years.
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  • OhlHawkFan wrote:This is a must win this weekend and our biggest game of the season so far. If the Hawks dump this game or show up lethargic like the did against the Dolphins, Lions, etc. then none of those scenarios matter. We need this win to set up the big Sunday night game with the Whiners.

    Championship level teams win games they should and this is a game they should win, especially considering the Bills are all but dead in the AFC playoff race (thanks Lambs). The games you mentioned, along with the Skins game at home last year, definitely make me nervous for this week. A loss in Toronto will leave our guys scrambling for a #6 seed. We're going to see where their maturity level is this week. Come out and take care of business against a lesser team and I for one will feel they gained perspective from that egg they laid against Miami. Spend the week wallowing in a 58-0 blowout of the Cards and it'll be another case of not taking the final 'maturity' step yet.
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  • The Bills game scares me. Not because it is on the road, not because it is the East Coast road, not because of the start time which is in our favor.

    It simply and only scares me because we play 49ers next week and we just blew out AZ. I see several players on this team that may not have the right mindset and I just hope the coaching staff and RW will have them 100% focused on this game.

    If we win this then we can focus on the 49ers
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  • Thanks Kip, good thoughts. While I do see the possibility of playing down to Buffalo's level, I still think we win there, especially the late start time and that it's in Toronto, added to the thought that Seattle seems to be hitting it's stride and having it's usual (under PC) late season push. The key, to me, is really that the Patriots take care of business at home and beat the 49ers. I think this leads to questions and hand wringing in San Fran over Harbaugh's decision to go with Kaepernick and creates some questions in their mind and creating a distraction going into the Seahawks game.

    Other than that, ya I like rooting for all the other teams etc, but bottom line, it's all about what happens to the Seahawks first, 49ers second.
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  • need to take care of business one week at a time.. there's no way any seahawk players don't understand how important this buffalo game is, there's no way pete won't have them ready, and pumped to handle business... set up for our showdown with niners at the clink... win that, first round bye could very well be on the menu... our playoffs start sunday guys, the coaches and players all know this and will be pumped up and ready... just have to execute and keep the stupid penalties down.
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  • The Atlanta/NY game is probably the most intriguing of that group. After the Giants embarrassed the Falcons last year, it will be a serious revenge game for the Falcons. Watching the Falcons play this season, it seems that they kind of lack the emotion for a revenge game. They have been kind of clinical in their play this season. If they can play like they want to embarrass the Giants, NY may just slip right out of the playoffs with the Redskins facing the Browns this week.
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  • I know it sounds weird but I want the 3 seed. I think the team has so much momentum going right now that a bye might mess that up.

    3 seed = At least 1 home playoff game, with a very realistic shot at a 2nd since I think Atlanta is ripe for another playoff flame out... and the chance to just keep the snowball rolling down the mountain.
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  • mikeak wrote:The Bills game scares me. Not because it is on the road, not because it is the East Coast road, not because of the start time which is in our favor.

    It simply and only scares me because we play 49ers next week and we just blew out AZ. I see several players on this team that may not have the right mindset and I just hope the coaching staff and RW will have them 100% focused on this game.

    If we win this then we can focus on the 49ers


    On the flip side of the coin, the team will hopefully remember the Miami game.. because this screams the exact same scenario.

    We'll see what happens. Can't wait!
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  • Hasselbeck wrote:I know it sounds weird but I want the 3 seed. I think the team has so much momentum going right now that a bye might mess that up.

    3 seed = At least 1 home playoff game, with a very realistic shot at a 2nd since I think Atlanta is ripe for another playoff flame out... and the chance to just keep the snowball rolling down the mountain.

    Different perspective, but a good one IMO. I might just agree with you on the #3 seed.
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  • Kip, out of all those teams, which ones would you not want to play on the road? I don't want to play the Giants at all in the playoffs, they win anywhere in January.
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  • giants don't scare me as much as GB in Greenbay.. we seem to have the formula to beat NY, there or at home for whatever reason.
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  • Every game is important from here on out, as there are three 7-6 teams right behind us. Let's hope the team takes it one game at a time. That said:

    I don't see the Giants getting the 2nd seed. The play Atlanta (who I think will be motivated after the CAR loss.....they don't want to lose HTA and Smith will be on them about it. They're also very good at home). If they beat ATL, which I think they can, they still have to play WASH don't they ? I know they have one more team on the schedule that is tough, I don't see them winning out.

    GB is the biggest threat. I don't know if CHI can beat them....they're kind of in a tail spin and Cutler is dinged up. If MIN is still in playoff contention, I see them beating GB at home. If not, GB rolls a team not playing for anything.

    I think it likely the Niners lose this week. THat means we have to beat BUF, and we have to then beat SF.

    We can't discount a very feisty Rams team that still hasn't lost in division.
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  • Playing in Green Bay in the snow would be the most challenging of all scenerios.
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  • Hawks46. The Giants have played the Redskins twice. They beat them in New Jersey and just recently lost to them in DC.

    They have the Falcons, Ravens and Eagles left on the schedule. Not sure what to think of the Ravens with the recent firing of Cam Cameron.
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  • Bigpumpkin wrote:Playing in Green Bay in the snow would be the most challenging of all scenerios.


    Hawks found this out last time we played GB in the playoffs. I still have nightmares about Favre's shuffle pass.
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  • Scottemojo wrote:Kip, out of all those teams, which ones would you not want to play on the road? I don't want to play the Giants at all in the playoffs, they win anywhere in January.


    None of them. That's why getting a bye or at least the division is extremely important. As much as I love this team, it's nearly inconceivable that they could win 4 straight games against great teams away from Seattle.

    With regards to:

    Green Bay: Their DVOA has dipped in recent weeks but for much of the season they were among the elite of the elite. Their homefield advantage in January is very tough to overcome, and Aaron Rodgers is still an all-world QB. They also dominated the Seahawks in the 2nd half of this year's match. The only plus side about a Green Bay matchup would be that our pass rushers do well against their stiff tackles and a QB who holds the ball to be his best.

    San Francisco: I think we can beat them anywhere. Probably should have beat them last time if not for the dropfest.

    New York: They are clutch, but they don't scare me much. Not to sound cocky but I could see Seattle blowing them out. Their pass rush won't impact Wilson as much as most QBs they are used to facing, and Manning is the kind of QB that could have a tough day vs. our pass rush and secondary if the game is in Seattle. Also, don't they play on a similar surface to ours in New York? Seattle might stand a good chance on the road against them.

    Redskins: Morris and RG3 could create problems for us. I'd be nervous about that matchup.

    Bears: If it's in Seattle, I think it's an easy win. If it's in Chicago somehow, I'd be worried unless Cutler is still hurt / ailing.

    Falcons: I think the Seahawks would smoosh them. The only way they lose is if Pete reverts to a base pass rush with zone coverage on most plays like he did vs. Chicago and Miami. The Falcons are the most finesse team in the NFL and Matt Ryan has about as much playoff winning experience as Russell Wilson does. They remind me a TON of the 2005 Seahawks but quite frankly I think the 2012 team would smoke the 2005 version in an actual head to head game. Great physical teams tend to kick the asses of great finesse teams.

    Cowboys: I think we beat them easily. Again.

    Vikings: Only way Seattle would lose is if the game somehow occurred in Minnesota.

    Bucs: I wouldn't want to face them, but they look like unlikely playoff contenders right now.

    Rams: If it's in Seattle, it's no contest.
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  • Not sure I am buying that Eli would have a hard time with our defense, even at the CLink. Our secondary is a year older but Eli was heating them up with Cruz last year. The two additions on the DL, Irvin and Jones are a step up from Brock and Hargrove. As well as Wagner over Hawthorne and Curry being gone. All that said, Bennett and Cruz would give the Seahawks fits.

    And the Giants running game is multi-faceted enough that they would offer a balance for Eli. I expect the offense would be able to hold its own against the G-men. I would favor the Giants. Blowing them out just doesn't seem likely. I will admit that if the Seahawks don't get cute in the Meadowlands with the Robinson draw on the goal line the Seahawks are nursing a 3 TD lead early in the first half but that was an early season game and the Seahawks physicality probably caught the G-Men off-guard.
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  • Our pass rush this year at home is much much better than last year's pass rush in New York though. I think our secondary is better than that game as well. Browner has made huge improvements and Sherman didn't even start in that game. On the other hand, Walter Thurmond was a total stud in that 2011 contest, so there isn't much to be gained there.

    Also, Seattle won that game, and pretty much led almost the whole way if memory serves. Not to mention- that was with T-Jack/Whitehurst at QB.

    I guess the best argument in favor of New York was that they destroyed some good teams this year, including the 49ers and Packers. They are a dangerous team, no doubt. By no means would I expect a blowout, I just think there is real blowout potential.
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  • kearly wrote:Our pass rush this year at home is much much better than last year's pass rush in New York though. I think our secondary is better than that game as well. Browner has made huge improvements and Sherman didn't even start in that game. On the other hand, Walter Thurmond was a total stud in that 2011 contest, so there isn't much to be gained there.



    Thurmond started with Browner and Sherman playing corner when in the nickel (Trufant was out this game). The Seahawks fell behind due to Cruz lighting them up. The Baldwin TD in the 4th got the Seahawks back in front but Eli was driving the Giants the length of the field until Cruz tipped the ball to Browner. I just do not agree with your blowout thinking.

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  • Well to be clear, I'm not expecting a blowout. Just saying there is real potential for it. It's not a slight on New York- I think they are a great team. I just think we match up very well on them. The Giants were blown out a month ago by the Bengals, who like the Seahawks are a physical team that can disrupt even a good passing game.

    I think the one big edge the Giants have in their favor is a vastly improved rush offense, which ironically has had almost nothing to do with the guy they picked in the first round. That said, Seattle had little trouble containing Bradshaw last year- he's pretty much exactly the kind of RB our D-line likes to face. Basically the huge boost in their run offense comes from Andre Brown, who just hit the IR. David Wilson is a stiff runner (albeit a very fast one) who had struggled this season before having a terrific game last week. But that was against the Saints, so I'm not yet worried about him. I'd be pretty surprised if the Giants ran the ball on us, especially in Seattle where the run defense is always a little extra amped up.

    And if they can't run, that will make them a 1 dimensional team. Cruz is great, but he's the only WR having a good season for them this year. Hakeem Nicks has averaged just 52 yards a game since his crazy week 2 performance. Cruz is also on pace for just over 1100 yards after having 1500 last season.

    I do think our pass defense will fare much better than the last go around. Sherman is probably a better player than he was in that Giants game, and he would see a lot more field time than he did in that game as a nickle CB. Browner is definitely better. Our pass rush is better- especially if the game is in Seattle. Cruz had a lot of lucky yards that game on extremely unusual receptions. I know that's kind of his thing, but even by his standards that game was an outlier. Experience will play a factor as well. Browner/Thurmond/Sherman had less than a season of NFL starting experience combined going into that game, and defensive units tend to adjust or improve when facing an opponent a second time after getting burned in the first match.

    Our linebackers are better. Our special teams are better. Our QB is better despite the fact that T-jack played well. Our offensive line and WR play is better than it was in that game as well.

    And I know this probably puts me in homer territory, but I truly believe that the next time that Sherman, Browner, and Thurmond all step on the field it will be the best CB trio the NFL has seen in years, if ever. I think Sherman has a great case as the best corner in the game, Browner is an easy choice for the pro-bowl this year and I truly feel that Thurmond has an even better all around game than Browner. If we are at home and we have those three on the field, there is no passing offense worth being afraid of. Assuming Pete isn't being silly with his base rush / zone coverage habits.
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  • Bigpumpkin wrote:Playing in Green Bay in the snow would be the most challenging of all scenerios.


    I respectfully disagree. We are the team with a running game. GB doesn not have anything remotely close to what we can do on the ground. Even RW is a better runner than what they have to offer. A game in the snow would tend to benefit us I believe. The downside being that our CB's lose a step, but if it's snowy, hopefully it'd be all out nobody is passing the ball snowy! GO HAWKS!
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  • Will I wrote:
    Bigpumpkin wrote:Playing in Green Bay in the snow would be the most challenging of all scenerios.


    I respectfully disagree. We are the team with a running game. GB doesn not have anything remotely close to what we can do on the ground. Even RW is a better runner than what they have to offer. A game in the snow would tend to benefit us I believe. The downside being that our CB's lose a step, but if it's snowy, hopefully it'd be all out nobody is passing the ball snowy! GO HAWKS!


    Agreed. Seattle's running game, compared with any other NFC contenders, is what will make a big difference for a playoff run
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